Joko de­fends chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion of pae­dophiles

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IN­DONE­SIAN Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo has de­fended the in­tro­duc­tion of chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion for pae­dophiles, say­ing there can be “no com­pro­mise” in tack­ling sex crimes.

Mr Wi­dodo in­tro­duced a se­ries of tough pun­ish­ments for child sex of­fend­ers in May through an emer­gency de­cree, in­clud­ing chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion and the death penalty, fol­low­ing an out­cry over the fa­tal gang-rape of a school­girl.

Par­lia­ment last week voted to put the new reg­u­la­tions per­ma­nently on the statute book, as had been widely ex­pected.

In an in­ter­view with the BBC, Mr Wi­dodo de­fended in­tro­duc­ing chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion, a de­ci­sion that has sparked anger from hu­man rights ac­tivists and the In­done­sian Doc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion, which has said its mem­bers will not per­form the pro­ce­dure.

“Our con­sti­tu­tion re­spects hu­man rights, but when it comes to sex crimes there is no com­pro­mise,” he said, adding that the govern­ment “will hand out the max­i­mum penalty” for such crimes.

“In my opin­ion ... chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion, if we en­force it con­sis­tently, will re­duce sex crimes and wipe them out over time,” he said.

In­done­sia is among a small group of na­tions which use the mea­sure, in­clud­ing Poland and some states in the USA.

In 2011 South Korea be­came the first Asian coun­try to le­galise the treat­ment. Chem­i­cal cas­tra­tion in­volves us­ing drugs to re­duce the li­bido and sex drive.

Mr Wi­dodo was spurred into ac­tion af­ter the mur­der and gang-rape in April of a 14-year-old girl.

She was set upon by a gang of drunken men and boys as she walked home from school on the western is­land of Su­ma­tra.

The leader of the gang was sen­tenced to death last month af­ter be­ing found guilty of pre­med­i­tated mur­der, a crime al­ready pun­ish­able by death be­fore the new laws were in­tro­duced. Other mem­bers of the gang have been jailed. –

Photo: EPA

Joko Wi­dodo re­mains de­fi­ant.

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